Courageous High School Atheist Needs 5 Minutes Of Your Time
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19-05-2011, 12:48 PM
Courageous High School Atheist Needs 5 Minutes Of Your Time
Seth posted this on his The Thinking Atheist Facebook page and I thought I would pass this on to the user forum. I have sent an email to the superintendent, I hope that we can all find time to email him.
The website provided was:http://rockbeyondbelief.com/2011/05/19/courageous-high-school-atheist-needs-5-minutes-of-your-time/
The story is below:

My graduation from high school is this Friday. I live in the Bible Belt of the United States. The school was going to perform a prayer at graduation, but due to me sending the superintendent an email stating it was against Louisiana state law and that I would be forced to contact the ACLU if they ignored me, they ceased it. The school backed down, but that’s when the shitstorm rolled in. Everyone is trying to get it back in the ceremony now. I’m not worried about it, but everyone hates me… kind of worried about attending graduation now. It’s attracted more hostility than I thought.
My reasoning behind it is that it’s emotionally stressing on anyone who isn’t Christian. No one else wanted to stand up for their constitutional right of having freedom of and FROM religion. I was also hoping to encourage other atheists to come out and be heard. I’m one of maybe three atheists in this town that I currently know of. One of the others is afraid to come out of the (atheist) closet.
Though I’ve caused my classmates to hate me, I feel like I’ve done the right thing. Regardless of their thoughts on it, basically saying I am ruining their fun and their lives, I feel like I’ve helped someone out there. I didn’t do this for me or just atheists, but anyone who doesn’t believe in their god that prayer to Yahweh may affect.
Moral of the story: though the opposition may be great, majority doesn’t necessarily mean right. Thank you for reading. Wish me luck at graduation.
EDIT: Well, it hit the fan a couple hours ago. They’ve already assembled a group of supporters at a local church and called in the newspaper. I’ve had to deactivate my Facebook account and I can’t reason with any of them. They refuse to listen. The whole town hates me, aside from a few closet atheists that are silently supporting, which I don’t blame them looking at what I’ve incited here. Thanks for the support though.
If anyone would like to offer support, the superintendent is who I emailed and the school’s website is mpsb.us
Thanks for the support. It’s really helping. This has just gotten sickening.
Edit: I’ve had requests for my Facebook info… I don’t mind giving that out at all. Damon Fowler – Bastrop, LA. I could use all of the support I can get. Not sure if this link will work: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001146281052

Quote:"Religion poisons everything." - Christopher Hitchens
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19-05-2011, 01:09 PM
 
RE: Courageous High School Atheist Needs 5 Minutes Of Your Time
(19-05-2011 12:48 PM)Stefania Wrote:  Seth posted this on his The Thinking Atheist Facebook page and I thought I would pass this on to the user forum. I have sent an email to the superintendent, I hope that we can all find time to email him.
The website provided was:http://rockbeyondbelief.com/2011/05/19/courageous-high-school-atheist-needs-5-minutes-of-your-time/
The story is below:...

I'm not a member of Facebook. However, I would strongly suggest this student keep to their promise/threat, and contact the ACLU now!

Local ACLU Affiliates By State Mouse over the State for the link bubble.

Contacting American Atheists may help as well, as depending on what State this student is in AA could have an activist group nearby that could act on his/her behalf so as to at least bring support to his side of the line. Telephone is the quickest chance of contact. Saves time, as time is running out.

Go hard or go home, is one way of looking at this.

Constitutional Lawyers By State
Understanding student budgets and all, one might ask the attorney/lawyer they contact if they'd consider doing this pro bono. It's Latin phrase meaning, "For the public good". If ever there was a time to stand for the good of insuring the first amendment and separation of church and State, it's this. One could impress upon the lawyer/attorney, the press coverage this would stand to get if they (the attorney) stood for the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

It may help beforehand to ask American Atheists if they know any atheist attorneys in this student's State.

Another point that can be brought to a perspective attorney's attention is,this is not only big news that stands to help her/his career by supporting what their law practice stands for as action, but that it's news that's gaining ground and attention all over the country. (LINK)

Wishing everyone great success. I look forward to the update. Smile
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19-05-2011, 01:22 PM
RE: Courageous High School Atheist Needs 5 Minutes Of Your Time
Glad he stood up! The ceremony at my undergraduate graduation was terrible. I went to a state university and they still had a prayer AND the speaker was General B.B. Bell who actually said that the morals of this country were in trouble because people were not going to church as much anymore! Not only was that offensive to any atheist but also any Jewish, Islam, Buddhist, or literally any other religious student. I was appalled but then they gave this fool an honorary doctorate...I was livid and had I known beforehand I would have loved to have made the same stink.
I also sent an email out as well as voted in the poll at the Bastrop newspaper.

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19-05-2011, 02:14 PM
 
RE: Courageous High School Atheist Needs 5 Minutes Of Your Time
Well, all that occurs because there's this campaign among the Christian community that declares, America is a Christian nation.
And as long as institutions of higher learning act as if that's true, by designating an exclusive religious ritual to be adhered to for all ceremonies at the school, thereby implying to every student in attendance that Christianity predominates their learning environment and they therefore are left to infer they are actually attending a Christian college or University, because one faith is given license over all others so as to commemorate student milestones, the trend will continue.

It's easy to say, America was never founded as a Christian nation! Because it's true. However, to fight to rescind the presumed right Christians think they have in saying otherwise, by installing their religious rituals into any segment of the secular community, is quite a different challenge.

The way to prove the rhetoric that says, no America is not a Christian nation, is to stand against those rites and rituals in those secular circles that imply it is. Protest, levy lawsuits, refuse to comply as in refuse to stand if asked to during a prayer, etc...
See, many within the Christian religious community in America thinks they're under attack because American's are leaving the faith in droves. Church attendance is down across the country in various locations, and in 2007 atheist book titles made history in the publishing world because for the first time they outsold religious titles. Smile

Being of a victim mentality in the first place, because the Bible promotes that, the believer see's all that as signs the Devil is winning and America is in danger of turning away from the Christian values that made her great. Many Christians, and especially those who fall under the umbrella of Fundamentalist, Evangelical, believe they stand to be made victims to the "secularist push". When they'll otherwise tout the first amendment gives them the right to practice their faith, they'll rail against it when that same freedom is cited so as to give equal standing to other religions.

As in, a Hindu prayer being offered up at the campus of that student in the OP.

To their eternal shame, our own Senate chamber was the site of Christian hypocrisy that proved how one sided some Christians are, as representatives of the god of love and the prince of peace as they demonstrated the inalienable first amendment guarantees freedom to them and their faith alone! As they protested and jeered at the freedom of a Hindu clergyman who was invited to give the morning prayer before session began.
Separation of church and State not withstanding, where it should be demonstrated of all places in the Senate and Congress.

(MSNBC Article)

*edit* Fixed bad YT link. Odd, because that video was available before. Blush



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19-05-2011, 03:03 PM
RE: Courageous High School Atheist Needs 5 Minutes Of Your Time
The teacher at my school that organizes the freethinkers club was talking about this today, he said the kid isn't allowed his graduation ceremony now.

On the note of "ruining their lifes" I'd tell those christians to suck it up, its a fucking graduation ceremony, not your sunday mas

Hey brother christian, with your high and mighty errand, your actions speak so loud, I can't hear a word you're saying.

"This machine kills fascists..."

"Well this machine kills commies!"
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19-05-2011, 03:25 PM
 
RE: Courageous High School Atheist Needs 5 Minutes Of Your Time
Prayer at graduation nixed by student protest

This would be our story in the OP, I think.

As one reads this article and the points of view of the religious students and the faculty, one can see the selfishness, the sense of entitlement and the victim mentality sprouting with every word.
Quote:Excerpt) When I was raised here, Christ as the center of our community,” Stuckey said. “I think the children should have the right to pray and shouldn’t be prohibited from sharing their belief in Christ.”


It's a graduation ceremony, not a church! If these kids are so into Christ they can pray to themselves, or together. They know that prayer in school is illegal and so they try to slide it in at graduations, so that while at a podium with a microphone everyone in attendance, no matter their faith or lack thereof, have to tolerate it.

Quote:Excerpt) Throughout her time working with the student, Quinn said they never expressed their personal beliefs or that they had any problems with other students’ Christian faiths.
How absurd. This student doesn't have a problem with others beliefs. They have a problem, obviously, with prayer in school being entertained at graduation! As if there's only one faith able to commemorate the event, or that faith has any right to in the first place! Rolleyes
See, it's that monotheistic programming. One god, one way to see god, one way to hold faith in god and one eye to see with. [Image: 15.gif]

And if it's true that this student was denied their graduation, they need to get an attorney and attend anyway. It's a public tax payer funded government school. If the school wants to go the distance, make it pay! And then sue hell out of them, afterward. But better believe, if this was my child and they were denied their ceremony for insisting on freedom from religion as guaranteed by the first amendment, they'd be there. And so would I and a battery of attorneys, with video camera's so as to commemorate the moment. However, it went down.

Stand for something or be trodden on by anything!
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